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Mother of Port Clinton teen Harley Dilly speaks out after he is found dead



PORT CLINTON, Ohio — The mother of Port Clinton teen Harley Dilly is speaking out in a Facebook post just days after he was found dead in the chimney of an unoccupied vacation home following three weeks in which he was reported missing.

“I haven’t spoke much since the police and FBI came to tell me a body was discovered. I couldn’t, wouldn’t believe it,” Heather Dilly said in the Facebook post.

SEE ALSO: Protesters gather across street from late Port Clinton teen Harley Dilly’s home

Harley’s body was found in a chimney early Tuesday morning, and police say it is believed that he attempted to enter the unoccupied vacation home through the chimney and got stuck. Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman said Harley likely climbed an antenna tower to get to the top of the home.

“He isn’t a runaway, or abducted, kidnapped, or missing… he is found and dead!,” Heather continued in her post. “Today we had to go make arrangements at a funeral home for our son, our 14 year old. Who made a choice. He made the choice to climb the antenna of an abandoned home, walk across a roof, to a chimney and attempted to climb down.”

Ottawa County Coroner Dan Cadigan, M.D., said in a statement that the cause of death for Harley was determined as compressive asphyxia.

“There he would of been able to view me leaving every Friday as I do running errands,” Heather continued. “The decision he made, he probably got the idea off all that ‘gaming’ he did with Fortnite. How they climb up things to go into abandoned homes to get treasures. He is gone.”

Authorities arrived on-scene at the home, located near the intersection of Fulton St. and East 5th St. in Port Clinton, Monday evening around 7 p.m. and found Harley’s body early Tuesday morning.

“If he was trying to run from us as some assume, why then didn’t he go farther, not across the street. He was avoiding going to school. Why we will never know, but kids do that,” Heather stated in the post. “This whole thing could NOT of been avoided.”

Harley was a Freshman at Port Clinton High School.

“You can point the finger at me, us, whatever all you want… The outcome would of been the same either way.  Now you want to crucify me for telling my son to go to school, so be it… But don’t sit there and throw stones in a glass house,” Heather said in the post.

Heather’s post appears to come after an online petition was launched, calling for negligence charges to be filed against Harley’s parents.

“It has been brought to my attention that a petition is circulating on social media by Roxy Fisher who claims to be an employee of Texas Equusearch according to her Facebook employment status,” Texas Equusearch official Tim Miller said in a statement to Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman in regards to the petition. “This is a misrepresentation. Ms Fisher is not nor has ever been an employee of Texas Equusearch.”

SEE ALSO: Protesters gather across street from late Port Clinton teen Harley Dilly’s home

Survivors include Harley’s parents, Marcus and Heather; sister, Ashlyn Dilly; brother, Roary Dilly; maternal grandparents, Robert and Carolee Styndl; paternal grandmother, Mary Dilly; aunts, Meredith (Robert) Marflak and Betty (Frank) Dotson; uncles, Raymond Dilly, Jr. and Christopher Dilly; niece, Rylee Dilly-Daly; as well as many cousins, and friends from school. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Raymond Dilly, Sr., and maternal great-grandparents, Robert and Rose Styndl, Sr.

Heather Dilly’s post as it appeared on Facebook

Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 11 am until 3 pm at the Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home & Crematory, 216 Washington Street, Port Clinton, Ohio. Funeral Services for Harley will be private at a later date.

SEE ALSO: Expert speaks out, provides new information after body of 14-year-old Harley Dilly is found in chimney

Memorial contributions may be made here for the establishment of a scholarship fund in Harley’s name.

Online condolences may be shared with the family here.



  1. patti

    Friday, January 17, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    You made a choice of not watching your son. He didnt want to go to for a reason….you should of found out what that reason was. You allowed him to play the violent video games. You allowed him to be locked out of his home. Those lady were your choices!

  2. Tammy

    Friday, January 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    I cannot believe all you EXPERTS commenting, guess you know more than the actual experts. And who makes you judge and jury? YOU are no one to judge others. This family is dealing with a sadness that you will never understand, have some compassion. I really dont care what your thoughts are, but why do find it necessary to leave your disgusting comments. Can’t you just keep your nastiness to yourself.

  3. Angry Gamer

    Friday, January 17, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Blaming what happened to your son on a video game you know nothing about (there is no climbing into chimneys in Fortnite, it’s jumping around, building and searching for weapons and gear for arena fighting – a game I’ve played a few times before). It’s blind ignorance trying to find a reason for a tragic death.

  4. Spectre00

    Friday, January 17, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    What an unpleasant woman. Young people do silly things sometimes. But to blame a video game and to say “He made his choice”? How does she expect sympathy with that attitude?

  5. J camerer

    Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 8:00 am

    He was 14 for god sakes! 14 year old boys do things. He was old enough to stay home alone, get to school on his own, feed himself. I’m sure he was like most his age. Mischievous

  6. Kara Alsup

    Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Oh now its the fault of a video game? Please. You gave that kid a terrible homelife. I can only imagine what that child has seen and been subjected to. U cant blame this on anything other than the fact u gave him a shitty life.

  7. AJ

    Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I’ve seen children younger than 14 walking to school by themselves. At 14, he should have known better. Some kids just need more supervision than others and sometimes its hard to tell. He may have gotten the idea from a video game, but who knows, he could have read something in the school library…should we start banning books just in case? Regardless, it was a dumb idea and hopefully his death will at least serve as a warning to other kids. It’s easy to blame the parents, but if anyone’s ever heard of the Darwin Awards, they’ll realize that people of all ages have been known to die doing something stupid and they can’t be protected from themselves forever.

  8. J.Eastwood

    Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    She said that the video game might have given him the idea to do this… I agree… I remember how stories and movies inspired me and my fiends to do things, even though they didn’t exactly depict the direction we took it in… Those people who are being so vile, so unGodly toward this mother will find it coming back to bite them…It always does… LIFE provides the lessons in one way or another…

    He was 14. You don’t keep a 14 year old in a play pen or on a leash or in his own home and yard under constant supervision. They need to grow up sometime, and for a 14 year old, he has only 4 more years to do that…and he will be in college, or away at college, or working.

    He DID make a choice. Noone put him there. She is trying to show that this was his decision, and not anyone else’s, and she is looking for a reason he might have done it. The only thing she can think of is that the video game might have inspired him.

    Pray that something terrible doesn’t have to happen to teach you how they feel… I’ve seen things like that happen all too often.

  9. tonya

    Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I just have one question how did they find his glassess and coat on the floor when there was not a fireplace, but an enclosed area where his body was fount?????

  10. J. H.

    Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 11:02 am

    OMG you horrible,horrible people. Blaming the parents. Shameful.

  11. Betsy

    Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    I don’t see how video games can make ppl do things like that. I feel it is the parents fault and it is being covered up. There is no way that he could fit in that chimney. And as for his coat and glasses being on the floor. Someone had to have put them there. I would never have gone out to eat and not looked for my kid. Kids are more important.

  12. Debi Sowards

    Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Not anybody’s fault except maybe the boy’s when he made the decision to go in through the chimney. Very sad ending,let us learn from it and move on. My heartfelt condolences to the family 💔 🙏

  13. cyanne

    Monday, January 20, 2020 at 8:43 am

    How ignorant and insensitive to blame the parents. They believed their son had gone to school as he normally did. Obviously they hadn’t told him to ditch, to trespass or attempt to gain entry to the home! As if he was the first child to ever skip school, be curious or seek an adventure either! This family has already experienced one of the most tragic losses…that of a child. It was an accident! Have some human compassion and respect and allow them to mourn their terrible loss! It is impossible to watch a child 24/7 as one must sleep, use the bathroom, bathe, etc. Children die when safely asleep in their beds! You must blame the parents for that?

  14. Linda8

    Monday, January 20, 2020 at 11:36 am

    My gawd, people, stop with the awful comments. The townspeople are blaming the police and mom is blaming a video game. But maybe she doesn’t know any better. Maybe that’s her way of trying to justify this whole thing. She buried her own child. No parent should ever have to do that. I just don’t understand where the compassion in today’s society has gone. The poor kid is gone and he’s not coming back. Leave it alone.

  15. Enray

    Monday, January 20, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    Smh boomers really be trying to link the crime to a video game where crime isn’t even the point of the game.

    I would understand if someone fell off stairs they were building and the mother blamed Fortnite, but this is really getting out of hand.

  16. Teresa

    Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 5:01 am

    Nobody is ever going to know how Harleys life ended but we all are entitled to our own opinions good or bad. Me personally I’m keeping my comments to myself for now. I believe that it’s just best for everyone to think of Harley right now. Such a tragedy, gone to soon. Rest Easy Harley

  17. Judy

    Friday, January 24, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    I’m sending my sympathy& prayers to Harley’s family.You’ll be in my prayers.

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